It has been awhile since I found the time to actually get back out here and do a bit of my usual rant. With Ricky out of the Republican race I’ve actually been a little less incensed at some of the rhetoric and crap spewing from Mitt. I had thought that people would begin to see him for what he is and what he stands for but it is becoming increasingly evident that will likely not suffice given the ongoing demonstration of limited intelligence of the vast majority of the American public. And I’m also reminded that I thought there was no way in hell that Georgy Bush would get elected for a second term – I am reminded of a quote by one of the authors I read extensively in my youth –
Never underestimate the power of human stupidity – Robert A. Heinlein
And even more relevant today –
But back to my current thought on what is turning out to be an area of social consequence that has become increasingly disturbing – both by the views held and the laws passed. I listen to President Obama finally state the obvious (to many of us) about viewing those in our society are gay as equals across the board. I watch another southern state (are we seeing a pattern here? I know where I don’t want to ever live) pass an anti-gay bill. I then watch Mitt do a commencement speech at Liberty University, founded by those in the religious right. Might be me but this wasn’t a university that I’ve ever seen as one of the tops in the country but there are many educational institutions which are not among the best that provide students a good education. The difference here is that I can’t see how this is a well-rounded education – but my opinion only. In any case, my point is that the item in Mitt’s speech – re-affirming his belief that marriage is only valid between a man and a woman – is one that most thinking people have seen past. Telling this view to this crowd took no gumption and required no validation beyond the automatic head nodding and hand clapping through the crowd. He is no Michael Bloomberg who has a set of cajones easily demonstrated by delivering a speech at the University of North Carolina where he directly countered the recently passed law on marriage in the state. Definitely a man of conviction. Not Mitt – this again shows Mitt to be a man who basically tells any crowd what they want to hear – is that flip flopping as many accuse him or is it really more a case of a man who really doesn’t have a real thought in his head – he is really the human (and barely so) version of a chameleon. Is this really what our country needs at this time? We are used to the general public as essentially cattle being herded at the whims of the leaders they follow but not as often the other way around. Even Bush attempted to lead – as feeble as it was. The difference is that Bush was just pretty dumb – I don’t believe Mitt is dumb – he is just clueless and inept. Again, quite the qualities we need in a potential leader.
One can only hope the time between now and November really shows Mitt for who he is. I’m guessing it will be increasingly difficult as the Obama camp picks the strategic topics that need a firm stance. I see the deer in the headlights look becoming increasingly popular in Mitt’s speeches.
Now – what audience am I speaking with today?
But the more important point here is the continued view of gays as second class citizens – and that is probably giving many of these anti-gay people more credit than they are due. The fact that they profess to be so religious is laughable – I ask anyone – who do you know among those who profess to be so pious and living the life set by their religious dogma really lives that life? Very few in my experience. To be honest, I’m one of the few – and that is only made possible given my view of the world around me as an atheist.
But no matter your religion, your beliefs, how you think you lead your life, I have to wonder how one ever reaches the point where they can actually take the view that anyone else in our society is not worthy of respect and equal footing – especially when they contribute at equal levels with the rest of us. You don’t need to like everyone or even want to have them live next door to you – that’s okay – I sure don’t. But I’m not looking to take way their civil rights and liberties. I’ve made the point before that it isn’t 1955 any more, women can vote and civil rights are a given (at least in our laws). To treat gays differently is unacceptable in this day and age. The older generation (another bit of slick marketing is their designation as “the greatest generation” by Tom Brokaw, a dumb shit at best – “the neediest generation” is more apropos) needs to take a lesson from our youth who are less likely to see race, color, sexual orientation as something that needs much extra thought. But it not just the older people but more disturbing the number of baby boomers who profess such intolerance. It is despicable and speaks volumes of the type of people we live with in this country. Even more amazing is that not one of these people is more than 1 degree separated from someone who is gay. In fact many of them walk that fine line themselves, so aptly demonstrated by many of the politicians and religious leaders whom have found themselves having to explain themselves – hence the degree of intensity. Bottom line, the gay citizens many are so quick to push to the side are our sons and daughters, our aunts and uncles, our neighbors, our teachers, our police and firemen, etc., etc. Get it? – it is really about people we love and care about when we look beyond the sexual aspect on which most anti-gay people perseverate. How can you be so rigid and unfeeling? My guess is that these are people with some severe (or at least moderately severe) sexual dysfunction or they wouldn’t be so threatened so quickly. To my fellow baby boomers – what the hell happened to you that you forgot what the 60’s was about? Different decade, pretty much the same issues. Oh, now I remember, you were the ones sitting in your rooms with your head in a book all week and then on Friday and Saturday nights you went on your binge drinking and showed the beginnings of the asshole you would eventually grow into as you let the alcohol quickly dim your hangups and insecurities.
Apologies for the rambling nature of this – I’d like to think I’m usually a bit more structured and to the point. However, this topic is one that hits home as my son is gay. But beyond that I have had many friends and people I know who are gay – my best man in my wedding over 30 years ago was gay – and I knew it and didn’t really care. Am I ever a bit biased? – not really given that despite my sometimes intolerance of others, it is typically not against an entire class of people. I will admit that there are parts of any group – be it race, ethnicity, age, whatever – that bug me. And I have no issue saying that stupid people are pretty much useless – no matter their color, religion, sexual orientation, whatever. What having a gay son has taught me is a much better understanding of what they tolerate every day – and how much intolerance can hurt and how difficult it can make life. While both my kids (now adults) have demonstrated success so far and I am phenomenally proud of both of them – they are both pretty amazing in their own ways, I look back at the added burden my son dealt with going thru school and I hurt inside when I think of what he tolerated through all those years.
I’m ecstatic when I see his friends who are with him still and don’t see him any different from anyone else. He, like any individual, is made up of more than the single sexual dimension so many are focused on. I can only wish a slow and agonizing remainder of life to those who are so quick and easy to deny him his rights. No doubt there are those who will read this (assuming anyone does), dismss it without a thought and continue to see my son as less than human – well to all of you I say “Sieg Heils”. You are in great company.
One parting thought on Romney – if he truly was the high school bully he has been accused of being, that is bad enough. Add the gay aspect to the bullying and it becomes a whole other issue. We can forgive some past transgressions (well, to some extent) but at least own up to it when called out. To play the “I don’t remember” card is less than credible – but then again, maybe Mitt has a bit more Ronald Reagan in him than was thought!